Rock and roll legend and recently-inducted Country Music Hall of Famer Jerry Lee Lewis is NOT dead, Saving Country Music can confirm. Despite multiple reports of Jerry Lee’s passing on Wednesday (10-26), including from TMZ, the New York Post, and UK’s Independent, Jerry Lee Lewis publicist Zach Farnum has confirmed the music titan is still alive in Memphis.
TMZ appears to have been the originator of the false report, and has since offered a retraction to their story, saying in part, “We’re told the rock ‘n’ roll legend is alive, living in Memphis. Earlier today we were told by someone claiming to be Lewis’ rep that he had passed. That turned out not to be the case. TMZ regrets the error.”
Jerry Lee Lewis was formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 16th, but due to health concerns, could not be at the Medallion Ceremony at the Hall of Fame in Nashville in person. Instead, Hank Williams Jr. and Kris Kristoffferson received the medallion in Jerry Lee’s honor, and then Kris Kristofferson drove to Memphis to deliver the medallion to Jerry Lee Lewis personally.
Jerry Lee Lewis experienced a stroke in 2019, which has mostly put him out of the spotlight in recent years, but he did appear at the press conference announcing his Hall of Fame induction on May 17th.
After becoming frustrated at his inability to land a hit in rock and roll after his heyday, Lewis decided to become a country music artist in 1968. He released his first country single, “Another Place, Another Time” by Jerry Chestnut in March of 1968, and would later release many albums of country material. Jerry Lee eventually had 17 Top 10 hit singles on the Billboard country chart, and four #1’s as a country artist.
Jerry Lee Lewis is said to have been working on a Gospel album recently, with a release date TBA.